Masked For Life? Flu Down 99 Percent In New Jersey, Experts Say Masks Should Stay
This year the flu was down 99%. October through May is pretty much what we consider flu season and if there is one silver lining in this whole COVID chapter it is that we basically did not have a flu season this year. New Jersey epidemiologists have been tossing the suggestion out there of wearing masks going forward for every flu season even after COVID is in the rear view mirror. What do you think? Are we all used to the process enough to keep a mask in our car and wear it very fall/winter?
We should remember how the flu can knock a household down for a month straight. You know how it goes, the family doesn't all get it exactly at the same time...it's one family member after the next and it's no fun. Beyond that, it can get severe. One year my daughter and I had to go to the hospital. I can tell you this, I’ve changed my habits and customs for good. Will I wear a mask in the winters? I’m not sure but I’m also not ruling it out especially in places like airports. I used to take the subway everyday to go to work in the city and YES I would be wearing it then. I look at things differently now. I will always carry sanitizer on me and I will forever wipe down shopping cart handles and my steering wheel. I used to be a big “look em’ in the eye” and give them a firm handshake person but I’ll never shake hands again. Instead I opt for the coy wave from a few feet away. I’m a hugger by nature but now I’m only reserving that for family and I’ll probably hold my breath and look with other way when do it lol. My point is, we’ve changed our habits and since we all changed together I think it will stick. No one will think I’m rude for not shaking hands anymore and that is a big societal shift. Did we learn from this pandemic and evolve from it? I think so. I believe masks are a part of our lives now and will be going forward. I don’t think most people will use them when the pandemic is over on a regular basis but I bet most of us keep one in our cars or purses so it’s handy in certain situations. I would have thought that was SO weird a year and a half ago but not anymore.
No children died from the flu in New Jersey this winter for the first time in four years! Only one child has died from the flu in the whole country this winter, compared with 198 before COVID.
I’m sure we won’t be required to wear masks after a certain point (and when we are past this that’s the way it should be). However, I also believe that now society won’t think we're weirdos if we choose to wear a mask. Without a stigma, we can wear one if we want and that will help prevent lots of sicknesses. I'm curious what you think! Email me Shannon@943thepoint.com
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